Low pay, high morals 4

March 31, 2006

While I agree with the general thrust of Lewis Elton's argument ("Some dumb insolence might get their ear", March 24), I suspect that administrators and bureaucrats in UK universities will view it as a touching example of academic naivety that they can exploit.

"Strategic compliance" and "dumb insolence" are routine attitudes in all bureaucracies simply because they are indifferent to matters of substance. These people care not about what you believe, only about what you do.

Perhaps the situation can be reversed by the identification of a common bureaucratic and administrative enemy. The Universities and Colleges Employers' Association has admitted that a third of the income from top-up fees will be spent on implementing the new pay framework. The commercial sector would not tolerate this. That academics are happy to do so shows that they are both dumb and dumber.

Jeremy Valentine

Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh

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